Writing tips for an exceptional resume

“Your reputation is often your resume”
-Jaclyn Johnson

Writing a stellar resume is in many ways akin to painting a self portrait, inthert, it is not only a skill, but also an art. Whether you are a young applicant or an Industry expert, a well composed resume will never fail you.

But what entails the making of a great resume? How does one transform personal data into concise yet attractive self promotion? Following are a few tips to transform your resume or create an astounding one:


    There is nothing more imperative than choosing the correct format or stencil for your resume. When doing this, start with analysing your audience. If you're submitting your resume online, it's likely it will first pass through an ATS and if shortlisted, the employer.

    Generally speaking, it's a bad idea to get too fancy. One must restrain from using unconventional fonts and other decorative elements as they may be deemed unreadable by both the software(ATS) and the hiring manager.

    It always pays to keep a resume as simple and standardised as possible although exceptions may exist in Industries like Advertising, where your sense of aesthetic may not only be noticed but may also be welcome, which is seldom the case in orthodox industries such as Finance.

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    You may be a gifted engineer or even a prolific writer and still find yourself struggling to put together a narrative which explains your life's work in the most attractive yet concise manner.

    Templates act as stencils, or pre existing designs which offer a conventionally accepted structure to any resume.

    The best way to use a template is to treat it as a starting point and not as something set in stone. Edit fonts and sections according to your needs and customise it to suit your particular job profile.

    Reviewing sample resumes or those of existing employees is often considered an exclusive privilege available to a few, which increases your chances of acceptance exponentially.


    A summary is a short paragraph, usually at the beginning of a resume which allows an individual to be articulate about their work ethic, skills and achievements. Industry experts share a common belief that a well written summary is not only a crucial element of a resume but increasingly difficult to come by in today’s job market.

    As a rule, aim to match your summary to the job you’re seeking. A summary tailored to specifications states what kind of career you are seeking and what skills and experiences you have which make you a preferred candidate.


    When submitting resumes online, one can safely assume that it will first be scanned by an ATS ( Applicant Tracking System) and then, if deemed worthy, be passed on to the hiring manager. While there doesn't exist a surefire way to “hack” an ATS, using certain keywords can certainly increase the chances of your resume getting shortlisted.

    Try to integrate words and phrases from the job description, into your resume. These words serve as key search criteria on the basis of which thousands of resumes are later screened and shortlisted.


    Although some organisations like Microsoft don't mind multiple page resumes, it's best to limit yours to one to two pages to aid the hiring manager in making a decision in your favour.

    Statistically, a recruiter spends around 6 seconds browsing through one resume. To deliver the most effective narrative in that time, one must know how to prioritise content.

      Include your name, contact details, address and a professional email ID
      This usually comes just before the body and after the personal details. Keep your objective/summary short and concise by sticking to a brief insight into your professional aspirations and goals
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      “We would love to help you create your CV. You can connect with us at hello@cvowl.com and consult an expert”
      Always aim to present your work experience in a reverse chronology (latest first) which allows the recruiter to take a glance at your latest responsibilities and achievements.
      When listing the details of your education, integrate your degrees in a reverse order, with the latest being the first.

      You must mention the schools you visited and the years of graduation……. If applicable, add your major minor subjects and even your GPAs.
    • SKILLS
      The current job market is notoriously dynamic and one must keep evolving to stay “relevant”.

      Experts say a “growth mindset”, which is imperative in this industry, is accurately portrayed by the skills one possesses and the frequency with which they are possessed.

      Hence, apart from constantly reinventing yourself, be sure to mention any skills, especially those pertaining to the position. Eg- Computer languages, coding languages etc. Feel free to mention your knowledge of any languages and you level of familiarity ( beginner, intermediate, advance, proficient)


    Although number and statistics are a certain way of impressing an employer, mentioning the impact you had or the changes you brought forward in your past workplaces, helps the recruiter to gauge your capabilities as a leader and a prospective employee.

    Add instances of positive impact and changes while mentioning your Work experience. For example-I was able to lower the inventory cost of The organisation by 18% by employing new strategies.


    Using power words like “learned”, “completed” or “achieved”, lends an active voice to the narrative while avoiding extraneous words.

    Active language lessens the risk of a repetitive resume and one that may come off as unnecessarily lengthy.


Often knowing what to write is only half of the recipe of success, knowing what to avoid,is the second half.

Following are a few things to avoid while constructing a resume:


    Your resume must be flawless, in the sense,it should be devoid of any typos or grammatical errors.

    Such errors not only have a negative impact on the hiring manager but also increase your chances of being rejected by the ATS.


    A seemingly busy resume, having wall to wall text and a variety of fonts may not sit well with the recruiter and is likely to act as a deterrent between you and your dream job.

    Stick to a simple, conventional font and refrain from switching between too many of them to help highlight a point or identify headings or sections.


    A resume running into 5 pages is seldom a welcome sight for any recruiter. As a rule, limit yourself to a maximum of two pages.

    But having an excruciatingly short resume gives off the impression that the applicant is inexperienced, or worse, disinterested.

    Strike a balance by including all relevant and major events while using compact sentence structures and power words as suggested above.

    Finally, failing to go over the final draft of your resume is a dangerous mistake. Go over and double check every minute aspect of your resume before turning it in to avoid running the risk of having incorrect personal details, spelling errors, and typos.

Written By :
Career Expert at CV Owl

Your CV or resume is your first impression for any company. With the help of CV Owl, you can get a well-structured CV and your time will be saved. Everything on your CV should be written in a formal manner and in a precise way. You have only 20 seconds to impress your recruiter with your CV, make the best out of it. Visit our series “The HR Talk” where we help you know everything about your job interview from the recruiters.

Try CV Owl as we help you furnish a fully-formatted in a chronological order resume on our RESUME BUILDER or cover letter. You can also try our CV REVIEW SERVICE, through which you get a CV writing expert reviewing the insight of your CV and advising you so that you can make your CV stand out.

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